The Crucial Blog
As soon as the London protestors found themselves unable to erect their canvas city at the stock exchange and so moved across to St Paulís, they unwittingly landed the Church of England in a very unusual place - right at the heart of national debate. From there the CofE has wriggled, fudged and squirmed its way into what can only be described as a PR disaster.
Anyone - PR expert or no- would surely have advised this instituition, which is today more often on the side-lines of national debate, to seize the opportunity to capitalise on the kind of high profile which would inevitably follow. This was surely a godsend? The opportunity to get the Christian message across to a watching media which was quickly queueing up to hear the Churchís point of view. Front pages and TV stations should have been alive with it, social media twittering with it everyone tuning in, messages streaming out - allelujha!
So what did the Church do? Seize the moment to make profound a statements about the modern world and the part the CofE plays in it? Enter into a meaningful dialogue with the protestors? Take the opportunity to reveal how it is in touch with the people? No. They responded to the situation with the kind of feeble-minded fudge that would set any self-respecting PR person to teeth-gnashing and weeping and wailing.
Is anyone actually representing the muddle-headed, apparently out-of-touch clerics who have managed to alienate not only the disaffected tent-dwellers who look set to blight their forecourt for the forseeable future, but its own followers and more crucially its own principles. Surely some sensible professional PR advice is urgently needed and long overdue?
Thatís not to say that simple spin will now be able to miraculously clear the muddied waters and restore the reputation of this institution which seems mired in cant and unable to pull itself out of this self-inflicted public relations disaster.